L.A.’s Finest (Fantastical) Dim Sum Cart

Hong Kong’s gift to brunch, dim sum is a noisy, tea-soaked smorgasbord. We assembled—virtually at least—the dim sum cart of our dreams, carrying ten of our favorite morning nibbles from some of L.A.’s choicest practitioners

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Dumplings
Known as har gow, translucent pouches hint at the marine bounty within.  At Dim Sum Express, 326 N. Garfield Ave., Monterey Park, 626-307-5800. 

Spareribs in Black Bean Sauce
Gnawing the gelatinous meat off these steamed, chopped ribs is part—OK, most—of the fun. At Empress Pavilion, 988 N. Hill St., Ste. 201, Chinatown, 213-617-9898. 

Spinach and Pork Buns
Steamed, then pan-fried, dumplings get their color courtesy of spinach in the dough. At Sea Harbour Seafood Restaurant, 3939 Rosemead Blvd., Rosemead, 626-288-3939. 

Egg Tarts
The sunny pastry winks at Hong Kong’s British colonial history. It’s also good with tea. At King Hua, 2000 W. Main St., Alhambra, 626-282-8833. 

Shrimp and Pea Leaf Dumplings
These ornate specialties taste of springtime.. At King Hua. 

Tripe in XO Sauce
The offal-based classic, tossed here in a nouveau take on spicy XO sauce, has found its way to the Westside’s newest dim sum spot.  At Bao, 8256 Beverly Blvd., L.A., 323-655-6556. 

Sea Harbour House #1 Buns
Similar to a BBQ pork bun, these exclusive baked treats have a fluffy, bready exterior that’s sweetened with honey. At Sea Harbour Seafood Restaurant. 

Sticky Rice
Unwrap the lotus-leaf package for a gooey mound of rice permeated with pork, chicken, and shrimp. At Empress Pavilion. 

Mochi Platter
Nope, they’re not Easter eggs. Glutinous rice paste surrounds sweet fillings like mango and mashed red bean. At Phoenix Food Boutique, 31 E. Valley Blvd., Alhambra, 626-284-2388. 

Mushroom Pork Dumplings
Umami bombs are tied with scallion strips and topped with tobiko, or flying fish roe. At Elite Restaurant, 700 S. Atlantic Blvd., Monterey Park, 626-282-9998. 

Photograph by Alex Farnum

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